Wisdom from the Past


Most of you know I am a parent, with many beautiful grandchildren, none of whom I get to see enough.

When I do see them, I try to pass on a little wisdom, but my words are not always adequate, so sometimes, just sometimes, I rely on the wise words of others.

 

I thought I would share some of these with you today, in print and in song.

And the Two of Them Walked Together:
A Parent’s Advice to a Child

If

If you can keep your head when all about you

are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don’t give  way to hating

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

 

If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;

If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And treat those to impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and  start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about our loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings — nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run —

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son!

–Rudyard Kipling

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